Building a great business is not easy. It takes a burning desire to continually improve by trying new ideas, systems, and processes. You must love what you do, love your customers and not be afraid to hire people better than yourself.
To build a profitable business, you must know how to price what you do, track the costs, understand contracts, and do the paperwork required. To expand and grow, you have to market and sell, seek referrals, and then present winning proposals. To take your business to the next level, you must learn how to trust people and delegate decisions to them so you can invest your time on bigger issues. This requires you to get organized and systemized so your people can do what you want them to do.
Have you ever said to yourself:
- I am tired of "doing" all the important work myself.
- I can't find any good help.
- I've got to find a way to make more profit.
- I wish I could pay myself what I am worth.
- I wish I could find more free time.
- I can't figure out how to get rich
- How will I ever retire at this pace?
Where is you business today? Is it moving toward giving you what you expected when you started the entrepreneurial journey?
Business owners had a vision of their perfect business when they started. As they began to grow, they hit the challenges and roadblocks of time, energy, money, people, or customers. Many get stuck at the control lever and can't let go of doing the work or delegating. Some have organization and time management problems. Some don't like paperwork or accounting and leave those for later. Others just like to do the work and don't know how to run a business.
In a survey of over 5,000 business owners and managers I recently conducted, the top ten reasons business owners fail are as follows:
10. Company wins business by selling low price
9. Owner doesn't understand how to run a business
8. No passion for customers
7. Not maximizing the use of technology
6. Not offering anything different than competition
5. Trying to grow in a slow market place
4. No leadership or strong management team
3. Not enough money & too much debt
2. Owner controls everything
1. Owner doesn't change!
The downward spiral
Which of these ten factors are holding your company back from becoming a better business? Most businesses never get to the next level is because the owner is not willing to make the necessary changes to make it happen. He or she gets stuck in their "uncomfortable" zone doing the same things over and over. A downward spiral occurs when a company gets stuck at the same level.
What happens often goes like this:
- Too much work to do yourself
- Hire some cheap or untrained help
- Work gets out of control
- Customers get unhappy
- Can't make enough money
- Can't afford to hire better people
- Can't find time to train people
- No time for marketing or sales
- You spend your time putting out fires and fixing problems
- No referrals or repeat customers
- Have to sell low price to get more work
- Can't make enough profit to grow the business
- No hope for the future
The perfect business?
Imagine owning a company 100% run by your management team. You only spend a few days a week in the office while your company makes an exceptional profit and generates a lot of loyal repeat customers.
The other three or four days you are free to do what you please – hunting, fishing, golfing, spending time with your family, seeking investment opportunities, giving back to your community, or just doing nothing – all while your company runs smoothly, makes money, and you continue to get paid for being the owner.
Now imagine your company creates a lot of other business opportunities to create a financial empire which gives you a generous positive cash flow every month. Does this sound good to you? Ask yourself:
- Is your business where you really want it to be?
- Is your business headed in the right direction?
- What do you really want from your business?
- Am I willing to do what it takes to get my business on track?